After 28 hours of sailing against the wind we find ourselves 141nm further southeast of Port Vila on the island of Tanna. Under way we talked to SY Drifter as she sailed by and met three other boats, all heading donwind towards where we came from, using the moderate wind with a pleasent 20 knots from behind. – The way we normally tend to sail.
But sometimes you got to fo against. Which means: you don’t feel 15 kn from behind but 25 knots in the face. And it comes with a lot of spray and waves splashing the foredeck. And after a few hours, the whole boat is encrusted in salt (and sometimes in vomit). The movement is not a gentle rocking to the sides but like riding a wild horse up and down the waves. And it doesn’t stop. It never stops. Like the trip from Bora Bora to Moorea, but then we had more wind… No. Nobody really likes doing that – except the Suvarov. Hard on the wind she’s a swell to navigate and once out of the harbour, we set the wind steering and she pretty much does the rest.
During the night we sailed in lee of the island Erromango which made it possible to find some sleep. Behind the island we were protected from the sweel for a few hours but weh had to pay for it during the day when we encountered crossing sea and increased wind as we had to tack in between the islands. In the afternoon we saw him: Mt. Yasur ! As we sailed past it, down the east coast, the kids leaned at the sides of the boat with their mouthes open when the volcano was breathing its clouds into the sky.
Now that the night has fallen, every now and then a cloud north of us starts to glow orange.
During the night, the SY Kira should arrive and tomorrow we’ll have a good, long breakfast and then a look ashore. The only contact to land so far was in form of Tom: a local who rowed over in an all natural outrigger canoe to say hello and ask whether we had some DVDs to lend, heh. More to follow…